Thursday, May 7, 2009

Resolving Conflict

Today's Assignment

follow these rules to manage and resolve conflict in your life

1. Keep interactions respectful, even when feeling frustrated or hurt. Avoiding put-downs, name calling, interruptions, etc. helps prevent conflict escalation.

2. Maintain emotional control, even when feeling angry. Vent or redirect emotions to avoid yelling or other intimidating behavior. This helps provide a safe environment for resolving differences.

3. Keep interactions on "hot topics" within a structured process. Avoiding or minimizing spontaneous discussions on such issues helps prevent unintended "blowups." Using a planned negotiation, mediation, or other formalized process helps focus and balance communication about especially delicate issues.

4. Show a willingness to understand. If others feel understood and acknowledged, they are more likely to collaborate when problem solving. This requires focusing on and empathizing with what is being communicated by others rather just waiting for a turn to respond.

5. Communicate honestly and openly. Holding back on what the real concerns are will only delay or complicate the resolution of differences.

6. Be as objective as possible. Avoid speculation, rumors, and assumptions. Rely on personal observations and experiences or what can be independently verified through a credible witness or available documentation.

7. Express concerns in a constructive manner. Each party describing which of his/her needs are not being met is typically better received by others than accusations or demands for change.

8. Focus on future solutions rather than past blame. Emphasizing what needs to be changed rather than who is at fault takes less time and energy and increases the chances of successful change.

9. Look for solutions that meet every one's needs. Using an approach that tries to find common ground or shared interests is the most effective way for each person to get his/her own needs met. An approach that disregards a person's needs is likely to cause resentment in that individual, which can lead to future resistance or retaliation.

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